Empowering Children in Shelters through Young Leaders, one weekend at a time - Make A Difference (MA

It was back in 2006 that Jithin C. Nedumala, along with a few of his friends visited the YMCA shelter home in Cochin (Kerala). On visiting the centre, amid the activities & laughter, the youngsters realised that they were capable of impacting the children in a positive manner. They realised that there was an unsaid desire of the children wanting to learn. And the rest is history.

Make A Difference (MAD) mobilizes young leaders to ensure equitable outcomes for children in shelters across India. Through the programs that they are running throughout the 23 cities that they are operational in, MAD strives to create positive social impact leaders who can take the baton forward while engaging with around 60+ shelter homes across India.

Establishing a strong foothold with it's 4000+ young leaders currently impacting 3000+ children across 23 cities in the country, one intent has always remained at the very centre of focus for each 'MADster' - A fairer world for children in need of care and protection, i.e. empowering children at risk. Once in Cochin, MAD expanded to Pune, Chennai & Hyderabad, and to a few more cities like Nagpur, Bhopal, Mumbai, Delhi etc in a matter of 3 more years, since they believe that 'there had never been a dearth of driven young people who wanted to give back to the society and do their best to make the world a better place'.

Programmes at MAD Currently, MAD is running their programmes in a total of 23 cities. Ed Support

Ed Support provides role-models for children to aspire to by putting high-potential young people in touch with a class of 5 children. These youngsters provide after school support for Math, Science and English.


Propel enables children to build their career paths that are in sync with their interests and is aimed at those who are poised to pass out from shelter homes. By pairing them with a spirited volunteer, called a wingman, MAD wishes to motivate, inspire and facilitate their journey towards an independent and sustainable life. Dream Camp

Dream Camps are a 2-3 day experiential camp that primarily focuses on helping children build and connect with their dreams through a process of self growth and transformation. What does a Dream Camp look like, you ask? Take a look:

What's LxD? Sneheel Biswal, Director for Campaigns and Community Outreach at MAD says, "As time progressed, we noticed that the impact in other cities wasn’t felt on the same scale as in Cochin. The intent was still the same: To empower children at risk. But we realised that it wasn’t enough. We realised that it took more than this to deliver our vision on ground. We realised that processes weren’t enough on its own, it needed leadership to compliment it to actually make a difference. And that is how the LxD program was devised". MAD's unique LeadershipxDesign or 'LxD' Program is an extensive leadership program that gives the sort of learning curve that would create leaders out of dedicated young people in the country. Once a volunteer completes an involvement of one year in the city chapter, he/she becomes eligible to apply for the 'Fellowship'. Fellows are invited for a national level 'dynamic high energy yet reflective' conference that focuses on the core values and skills that a young leader must have to deal with the various challenges on ground and find a way to overcome them and grow by learning and collaborating.

Way ahead

MAD believes that for a problem to be solved, there are 2 things that are essential - A Methodology, and an Institution that can deliver that methodology. Their goal is to impact all the children in shelters across India by 2035 through an evolving nature of programs and an intrinsic organic growth.

MAD aims at perfecting their solutions and then monitoring the impact of these solutions to validate these interventions in the long run, and subsequently motivating & enabling organisations to replicate their model for larger impact. Post that, they aim at influencing/changing the public delivery systems so as to adopt more efficient practices, and eventually evolve to support the global change environment.

How can you contribute? MAD conducts recruitment drives for Volunteers, who commit to serve for a minimum period of one year as part of the community, for varied profiles such as a Teacher (Project - 'Ed Support)', a Wingman (Project - 'Propel'), etc. To apply, click here: www.makeadiff.in/madapp/index.php/common/register You can also get involved through donating for the cause at MAD. If you reside in India, you can visit this link: www.makeadiff.in/donate/ If you're an international donor, please visit this link: www.globalgiving.org/projects/support-children-at-risk-in-india/

Important Links:

For any queries/questions, you can reach out to MAD here: Email Address: allears@makeadiff.in

Website: www.makeadiff.in Facebook: www.facebook.com/makeadiff Twitter: www.twitter.com/makeadiff Head Office Address: #16 C, 1st B Main, 14th C Cross, HSR Layout Sector 6, Bangalore - 560102, Karnataka.

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#leadership #education #makeadifference #mad #bangalore

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